Rain creates interesting possibilities if you can get out of your comfort zone. I was travelling in northern Manitoba late last summer and came across this scene west of The Pas, not far from the Saskatchewan border. It had rained much of the day but I kept exploring anyway. This series of shelterbelt trees at the edge of a canola field that had just bloomed caught my eye. The air was laden with moisture, creating a monochromatic scene of white sky with little color but the soft greens of the trees and canola field. The light rain was refreshing although I did have to keep wiping the lens free of rain drops from time to time. I previsualized three seperate, consecutive photographs to create a wide, panorama. This image will print well either as a panorama or as a triptych of the three images mounted in a matted frame.
Contrary to popular belief, I have always been attracted to 'subtle images'. In fact, in the early 80's, I had an exhibition in Edmonton, Alberta called 'Subtle Images'. This image would have fit well in the series.
Clouds had rolled in earlier in the afternoon and I was now driving along the shoreline of Clearwater Lake on my way to vsit friends. The sun would set momentarily and I could see a line of pink color hovering an otherwise darkish blue sky. I'm often attracted to minimalist landscapes like this one so I took the first road leading down to the lake. I quickly jumped out of the van, grabbed the tripod-mounted camera, made a quick compsition and captured the scene above. I felt good about this image from the point of view of the warm and cool color contrast as much as about the minimalist palette. Eventhough it was bitterly cold and windy, I felt rather hopeful after making this image.
As I turned around and started heading up the hill, I noticed a memorial with a handful of flowers laying in the snow. I suddenly realized where I was - at the Pump House where Helen Betty Osborne, a 19 year-old Cree Aboriginal woman from Norway House, was brutally murdered on November 13, 1971 after being kidnapped, sexually assaulted, severely beaten and stabbed. She had come to The Pas to further her education in the hopes of becoming a teacher. It wasn't until some 16 years later that 4 local men were finally implicated in her death but only one man was ever convited of this horrible crime. The town of Norway House honoured her by naming the local school 'The Helen Betty Osborne Ininew Education Resource Centre'. I remember how this singular incident had really bothered me when I first learned about it shortly after moving to Winnipeg in 1985. I have come to this location on a number of occasions to photograph the lake as it is one of only a handful of access points to the lake. How many more people have suffered a similar fate and how many more have yet to suffer the same...
September 15, 2013
My print exhibition 'Prairie and Beyond' is currently showing at two locations in Manitoba: Portage La Prairie and The Pas.
'Prairie and Beyond 1', the larger of two exhibits, is showing in The Pas, MB at The Pas Reginal Library for the month of September. It comprises of twenty-six framed photographs in sizes ranging from 16” x 24” to 30” x 40”. It is designed for medium and larger galleries and exhibition spaces.
'Prairie and Beyond 11', the smaller of two exhibits, is showing in Portage la Prairie, MB at the Fort la Reine Museum from September through October. It is a slightly smaller show than its counterpart above with twelve 30” x 20” framed photographs, designed for smaller-scale exhibition spaces.
The photographs in each of the two exhibitions are different.
The two exhibitions, sponsored by the Manitoba Arts Network, travel throughout Manitoba communities from September 2012 through until December 2014.